EPA Actions on Tribal Water Quality Standards and Contacts
The following chart lists EPA approvals for tribes to administer a water quality standards (WQS) program, and EPA’s approvals of those tribes’ WQS. A tribe may administer a WQS program if it applies and EPA finds that it qualifies under Section 518(e) of the Clean Water Act to be treated in a manner similar to a state (“TAS”). Currently, 80 tribes have been found eligible to administer a WQS program, and EPA has approved WQS for 47 of these tribes. EPA has promulgated federal WQS for 1 tribe (Colville Reservation) listed in the chart but not included in the above total for approved WQS. Under EPA’s regulations, tribes that have been approved to administer WQS are automatically approved to administer certifications under Clean Water Act section 401, although a few such tribes may have chosen not to exercise that authority.
*EPA provides notice to appropriate governmental entities and the local public when a tribal application for TAS is ready for review. The notice generally provides 30 days to receive comments on the tribe’s assertion of authority.